If anyone knows what it means to work full-time, it’s a mom. Child-rearing women are the perfect fit for the mompreneur club since they already possess the basic skills needed to kick butt in the business world.
Time-management, creativity and working well under pressure are all essential skills for both motherhood and business. In the past, women were either full-time stay-at-home moms or they worked outside the home, not both. But now, stay-at-home moms are finding ways to pursue their passions: motherhood and entrepreneurship! This is a combined (and whopping!) 80+ hours a week dedicated to caring for the little ones and for a business.
So, here’s how you can manage it all – two full-time jobs as a busy mama.
1. Create a work schedule that works
Most mompreneurs generally start their own businesses so they are able to spend more time with their family. But, the truth is that the tight-schedule of working two full-time jobs can sometimes have the opposite result. This is why it is so important to find a work schedule that suits your needs.
As an entrepreneur, you have some level of freedom when it comes to setting your work schedule. This makes it important to get creative about when to quite literally get down to business. Many mompreneurs take advantage of their little one’s bedtime and use the late hours to get work done.
Waking up early, utilizing time when the children are at school or off on playdates can also be a great time to get those business emails read and replied to, do back-office tasks, and have some one-on-one time with clients.
2. Organize your life
When it comes to managing two full-time jobs, motherhood and business, organization is key. Mornings will go a lot smoother when you are organized. For example, lay out your children’s school clothing the night before and pack lunches in advance. Have everything your children need for school by the door, as well as your own essentials (e.g., purse, keys, wallet, and phone).
Create to-do lists for each day of the week and be sure to schedule enough family time so your children and spouse won’t feel left out. Sharing responsibilities with your spouse is another great way to stay organized. One day your spouse might get the children ready for school or prepare dinner and the next day can trade off.
3. Don’t give into guilt
As a mother, your children mean everything to you. This feeling may cause you to question your desire to be a mompreneur or feel guilty for pursuing your dreams and raise a family. Don’t give into mompreneur guilt.
Focus on the positive. Perhaps the time you spend on your business contributes to your child’s education, allows them to learn a new skill or take a class. When you pursue your goals you invest in yourself which helps you provide for your family. You may even find you cherish and appreciate your family more now than you ever did before.
4. Communicate during the day
Being a mompreneur can be tough, especially if your children are young. Paid child care or letting your spouse takes on a majority of parental duties can make you feel like you’re failing as a mother. You’re not!
Avoid these negative feelings by staying in communication with your children throughout the day. If you work from home, take small 10-minute breaks to check on your children. Also, spend meal times together as a family. If you work from an office outside of your home, use FaceTime and Skype to stay connected.
5. Eliminate distractions
The Internet is a fantastic tool for parenting and entrepreneurship, but it can also be a major distraction. Limit as many distractions as possible each day. Avoid multi-tasking and bench those 5-hour Netflix binges to your days off or holidays. Discipline will help you succeed as a mom and in business.
6. Create a calendar
Being a passionate entrepreneur can sometimes make it difficult to pull yourself away from your work, but family comes first. Maintain a happy home life by creating that delicate balance between your spouse, your children, and your work.
This may seem impossible, but creating a work/family calendar will help you achieve your goals. Use your calendar to mark family priorities such as date nights, doctor’s appointments and school activities, when bills are due, holiday’s, special events, work deadlines and personal goals.
7. Take some time for yourself
It’s no secret that moms tend to put themselves last on the “people to take care of” list. When you look down at your schedule it may seem laughable to think of carving out time for yourself. But this is an important step. If you don’t have a little me-time you will suffer from burnout. Then all your hard work as both a mother and a business woman can suffer.
Utilize alone time and something you enjoy daily. Meditate, exercise, read, watch a show you love, listen to music, play an instrument. Whatever makes you feel alive (outside of being a wife, mother, or boss) will help refresh your mind and spirit.
As a mom, you can make progress in business and pack lunches in the same day. It may be a long and grueling work week, but many mompreneurs know your hard work will soon pay off.
This article has been edited.
Malini Bhatia is the founder of Marriage.com, a website dedicated to providing value in every marriage. Marriage.com provides resources, information and a community that supports healthy, happy marriages. Malini has global experience in International Management and Communications, and lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 11 years and two daughters.